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The University of Southampton
Mathematical Sciences

Lindsay Nicol BSc Mathematics, 2013

Information Analyst at NHS South CSU Business Intelligence

Lindsay Nicol's Photo

Hi, I'm Lindsay Nicol and I studied BSc Mathematics within Mathematical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

The fact that Southampton helps their students to find placements and internships allows them to stand out from other university graduates who aren’t given this support.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

Since the University of Southampton is in the Russell Group it was one of my first choices as I wanted a degree which came from a highly respected institution. The location was also perfect for me coming from Kent so it was close enough that I could go home if necessary.

What have you been able to achieve as a result of studying Maths?

Studying maths helped me to develop my logic and analytical abilities. It also allowed me to develop teamwork skills through regular group projects and assignments.

Could you outline what your research project was on and what it aimed to achieve?

The aim of my project was to combine cut, colour, clarity and carat (4 Cs) into a multiple linear regression model for the purpose of predicting the wholesale price of diamonds. The data used is taken from a blog site containing the price of 4500 diamonds.

What is your opinion about the University's efforts to increase the flexibility of degree programmes and introduce more choice for personalised learning?

Since Southampton is a research university the lecturers are constantly working on their own personal research meaning they’re more passionate and involved in their topics and have a greater depth of knowledge into the subject. Because I study Maths with Economics I have core modules in both Maths and Economics which I have to take but usually I’ll have the opportunity to pick a few other modules each semester around my degree. For example this semester I’m taking Mathematical Biology which is slightly out of my comfort zone but proving to be one of my most interesting subjects. I know of other mathematics students who have had the opportunity to pick a module from any department in the university. This kind of flexibility is not common in most universities.

What is your opinion of support available for students on campus in terms of pastoral support, health services and student safety?

The university have provided a lot of help and support throughout my 3 years here. I’m part of a parenting scheme in Maths where I’m assigned a group of first years and I support them in any personal issues they have about the course or student life. Students are also assigned a personal tutor (a member of faculty) and have access to counselling and mentoring systems provided by the university. I would advise new students to regularly keep in touch with their personal tutors as these are the people who will be writing your references when you apply for jobs. Other security services the university provide are night buses and security guards who patrol regularly around the university campus and halls of residence.

Does the University help its students get ready for employment?

Regular careers fairs give students knowledge of individual companies and allow them to make connections in their chosen industry. Student services offer regular workshops to prepare students for employment. I’ve attended CV and covering letter workshops and interview practise classes. They also offer careers panels which allow current students to ask questions to previous students to gain necessary techniques and skills needed for work. These are specialised to individual employment sectors so there are always services to help a student no matter what field of work they plan on entering.

The University helps students find placements and internships to complement their studies, is this a good thing?

With the employment market being tougher than ever these days it’s important to make your CV stand out from other graduates. The fact that Southampton helps their students to find placements and internships allows them to stand out from other university graduates who aren’t given this support.

What are the benefits of living in halls?

Living in halls is a daunting prospect as it means moving away from home and living with people you’ve never met before. However living in halls was one of the best experiences of my life. It allows you to form close bonds within a matter of days because everyone is in the same position as you. Even though some of the halls are located off the main university campus, the hall fees also include a bus pass which can get you all around Southampton. The halls all have their own security guards and building, which is open 24/7. Most of the halls have their own bar too which hold lots of events during fresher’s week and is a great way to meet all your neighbours.

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